The Long-Awaited Something That We Wait For
I sat at home alone Friday night, November 6, waiting for word from
the Chicago/Midwest Chapter: National Academy of Television Arts &
Sciences Emmy Award Ceremony. Our son, Joel Mains, had been nominated
for three Emmys—one for Best Documentary in its category (Producer),
one for Best Director and the last for Best Editing.
tickets were pricey and there were only a few places allotted at the
banquet tables for attendees, so David, being Joel’s father, attended
the dinner with his son. All nominees must prepare themselves for not
receiving an award for work they know is well-done. I know I sat before
the television screen thinking, This work is too Christian for this secular television, news-reporting crowd. I’d been traveling and did the major portion of my praying after the awards and their recipients had surely been decided. Oh,
God, You know what we’re going to pray before we pray it. Forgive me my
preoccupation and please apply my come-lately spiritual requests to the
time slot when they could have counted.
also to pray, “At least let something good come out of this for Joel.
Even if he doesn’t win, let these nominations open doors and bring him
opportunities that couldn’t have happened without the Emmy nod.”
hours into my solo watch, the phone rang. It was David, “Well, we
(notice the proprietary pronoun) won for Best Documentary.” Then a
pause. “Oh, my goodness! He just got a second Emmy for Best Director.”
Joel dedicated that award to his father, who fortunately was sitting in
the ballroom to hear it. Believe me, David and I reveled, but not as
much as when an hour later, Joel won a third Emmy, for Best Editing. I
learned that one of the presenters said to him, “You’re having a
Well, I guess. So were we all.
The documentary, INK 180,
captures the story of Christian tattoo artist, Chris Baker, who
removes the barcodes from sex slave trafficking victims. Chris and his
wife feel they are called to this difficult ministry, and the tattoo
removals are done for free, a decision that thrusts ongoing financial
pressure into their lives. Chris also removes gangland markings from
the faces and arms of former gang members as well as covering over the
scars from self-inflicted cuttings, often from prostitutes wanting to
erase trigger reminders of their painful past. These scars and tattoos
often prohibit people from being self-supporting and maintaining their
is a difficult story, raw in many places, but it is also an uplifting
look at what one couple, who are willing to sacrifice personal gain,
are willing to do for others. It is really a tale of redemption,
of the power of God to change lives, and it has now been awarded three
Emmys. Someone else other than two proud parents think it is an
incredible story, beautifully told.
Why am I sharing
this, other than the fact that I am a proud mother and want to exult a
little? It is because all of us have a long-awaited something in our
life that we wait for (and wait for) and find that hope often wavers
when it doesn’t appear. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
Joel graduated from film school with a degree in script-writing more
than two decades ago. He has worked for Christian ministries since
then, hardly the creative incubation laboratory for Emmy-award winning
you reading this have a long-awaited something in your life. Whole
cities hope for that long-awaited pennant race. People look for that
long-awaited perfect house, perfect spouse-to-be, perfect job
promotion. Parents grieve over a child wandering into drugs, away from
things of faith, into a lifestyle of promiscuity and self-indulgence.
They wait and hope and watch for a turnaround, for repentance, for God
to work a miracle. That prodigal child returning home is the
long-awaited something that they watch, pray, long for.
wealthy donor who believed in Chris Baker’s unusual ministry, put up
the initial funds for this documentary. Probably no one thought the
project would go so far as to win three Emmys. In truth, this was a
hoped-for dream of Joel’s, as it is for every film student, but working
for years in a small Christian media ministry, I’m sure he didn’t think
he stood a chance for such a project to come this way.
addition, because Joel had a small team and a limited budget, he did
most of the work—producing, directing and editing. If he had been
attached to a larger production house, the opportunity for a
three-sweep would have been impossible. There would have been enough
money to hire an appropriate-sized film crew.
about Joel’s long-awaited something and in the fullness of time, when
Joel was being pointed toward a future none of us could predict,
this opportunity came along. He did his best and was able to
hear those words at the Chicago/Midwest Award Ceremony for the National
Academy of Television Arts & Science. “Joel Mains, INK 180, Producing.” “Joel Mains, INK 180, Editing.” “Joel Mains, INK 180, Editing.”
Joel with his three Emmy Awards
Scripture tells us in Proverbs 13:12 that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
There are many of you reading this who hope for a long-awaited
something and your hoping heart is becoming flaccid, weary of this
lengthy-unanswered prayer. Don’t give up. Remember that your prayers
are also being used for people who similarly wait but have no one to
pray for them. Be faithful in the desert of your
desire. In the fullness of His scheme for you, when the time is ready,
you too will hear your name, receive word, answer a knock on the door,
find your buzzing cell phone, and the news that comes will be amazing,
breathtaking, unbelievable, too much to take in.
God is able to cause all grace to abound to you in order that in
everything, always having all sufficiency, you may be abounding for
every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8.
Advent Retreats of Silence
The 24-Hour Advent Retreat of Silence is pretty much filled. However, there are still slots open for the 8-Hour Advent Retreat of Silence (Thursday, Dec. 3 / Saturday, Dec. 5).
CLICK HERE for additional details and Online Registration (multiple payment options).
Check out additional information with a few clicks, register
online, and pay the retreat fees as well. We’ve tried to make this as
user-friendly as possible.
NOTE: We have some scholarships that have been made available. If your
financial circumstances make it difficult to pay the registration fee,
please email Karen at Karen@hungrysouls.org and we will be delighted to help.
The God Hunt (Ordering / Donation Info)
month, for any gift of any amount, we will send one autographed
hardback copy of The God Hunt as our way of saying thank you. If
you are interested, please email me at Karen@hungrysouls.org or phone
me at 630-293-4500. There are various ways you can help. A few ideas:
* Send a year-end gift as a way of providing funds for my frustrated plans!
* Send a gift in the amount of your choosing and receive a hardcover copy of The God Hunt in return.
* Buy quantities of The God Hunt at $5 a book.
* Buy a whole box of books (32 quantity) for $150.
If you would like to send a gift or make a purchase, you can call the number above (we can take credit cards), or mail a check made payable to Hungry Souls to Box 30, Wheaton, IL, 60187.
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site. Newcomers can look that over and decide if they want to
register on the Web site to receive the biweekly newsletter. You might
want to recommend this to friends also. They can go to www.HungrySouls.org.
"All of us have a
long-awaited something in our life that we wait for (and wait for) and
find that hope often wavers when it doesn’t appear."
Can We Help You Give a Christmas Gift That Can Change a Life?
over 40 years, I have kept an almost-daily record of God’s
interventions in the ordinary (and sometimes not so ordinary)
circumstances of my life. So when distress came my way, catastrophe and
loss, I have developed a sure conviction that God is present and active
no matter what is going on. Going on the God Hunt is one of the
spiritual games David and I developed to teach our children how to
recognize God’s involvement in their lives. Through the broadcast
ministries, it spread nationally and became a huge help to so many who
wondered where God was and what he was doing.
We have a bookshelf full of cases of hardcover copies of The God Hunt in our garage and would rather have them read and used than sit in storage. Details for procuring the books are in the NOTICES.
Back-cover copy from The God Hunt:
Finding God incognito in the world...
is delight. It is joy. It is wonder.
It is a childlike, wiggling anticipation that somewhere, any moment, just around the next corner, when you least expect it,
the Divine is going to jump out,
... and you are going to respond,
Karen Mains on the God Hunt—a playful and profound way to seek and find
those seemingly ordinary moments when God intervenes in your life with
guidance, care and help.
You'll find such moments happen
more than you think! And you'll be drawn into deeper communion with God
as you tune in to the many ways He answers prayer, shows evidence of
His love, helps you do His work in the world and "works all things
together for good."